Our Relationship to the World (Part I)

Our Relationship to the World (Part I)

(Based on a talk delivered at the Krishnamurti Gathering in Saanen, Switzerland, on 30 July 1995)

This week we are going to conduct a religious inquiry into our relationship with the world, and in particular, to try to discover for ourselves the meaning of that statement of Krishnamurti which has become famous, and which is also now the title of one of his books: “You are the world.”

If we accept that statement, then it just becomes another piece of knowledge in our heads, about what Krishnamurti said. And if we think he was a great man, then it gives a certain authority to that statement as the statement of a great mind. Then one can live with that statement and repeat it, as the view or the opinion given by Krishnamurti, but all that doesn’t in any way bring any understanding into our consciousness. If we reject that statement as nonsense, because we say, “The world is out there, I am here. It’s rubbish, I’m not even going to think about it”, then again it brings no understanding to us. So there are two opposite, but equally unintelligent responses to that statement —– one is to accept it and repeat it, and the other is to reject it and refuse to go into it. We must beware of both extremes. The only intelligent response is to take that statement as a question, and ask ourselves “What does it mean ? And in exploring that question, together, as friends, a deeper meaning might dawn on our consciousness. And that’s the only way one should relate to Krishnamurti. He has given us a lot of questions, to examine and explore for ourselves, he has not given us answers. If we take his statements as answers, they will only add to our knowledge, but they will not bring any understanding. Those questions are not Krishnamurti’s questions. Questions don’t have a copyright, only answers do. And answers are trivial things. Unless one has explored a question, discovered something first hand for oneself, the significance of the question, as well as the answer, is lost on us. So that is what is the purpose of a religious inquiry around this question, which deals with our relationship with the world.

I would also like to state briefly what I mean by ‘religious inquiry’, because that word, ‘religion’, has been used in so many different senses. Normally, when we inquire, we are seeking information, or we are seeking additional knowledge which we don’t have; or we have a desire, and we are seeking satisfaction. None of that is religious inquiry. Religious inquiry is wanting to go beyond the words, beyond thought, beyond knowledge —- not be satisfied with explanations and answers. One may use knowledge, one would use thoughts, one uses ideas, but only as tools. One is looking for something beyond all this in a religious inquiry. It is not an accumulative process. One is not adding to knowledge, not seeking to accumulate pleasure, it’s not for profit that one is doing it, not for gain. All that is accumulative activity. Can we look at something with no purpose, just for the love of it, just because one wants to discover, not because that will bring gain, or pleasure, or satisfaction, or status, or any of that —-as an intrinsic part of one’s being ? True inquiry is just part of the nature of human beings. Wherever there is a mystery, wherever there is something we don’t understand, there is a natural urge to inquire. I don’t think you can give a purpose to it. Why are we inquiring ? Why do scientists inquire why the light comes from the sun, or why the sky is blue ? It isn’t with a motive. You can do it also with a motive but, intrinsically, it’s not with a purpose. It is just in order to find out. That is the nature of true scientific inquiry, and that’s also the nature of true religious inquiry, only the nature of the questions is different. In a religious inquiry, one posits the truth as the unknown, something we don’t know. That’s why we are inquiring to come upon it. So in a sense, all of us, as fellow inquirers, are on the same side, saying “We don’t know”, and we want to find out, together. In not knowing one is together, but knowledge divides. If you start with knowledge, my knowledge is different from yours, your guru said something my guru said something else, my culture and religion said something else… If we stick to that, we create division. There is no division in religious inquiry. If there is division, it is not religious. Religion means: to unite. That which divides is not religious. I’m using that word in that sense.

So, if one begins with not knowing one might have a certain amount of knowledge in one’s head, but one is deliberately setting that aside, using a part of memory but not giving importance to it, using thought, using knowledge, but not wanting to end in thought and knowledge, not satisfied with more ideas and more knowledge, but wanting to come upon a more holistic perception of ‘what is’, which Krishnamurti called ‘having an insight’, So the purpose of a religious inquiry is to come upon a deep insight into what is involved in the question into which one is inquiring. It’s holistic in the sense that one is wanting to look at the whole field, and not analyze bits of it, which is what the thought process does. It picks on a small part, and then analyses it, looks at the logic of it, and so on. It has a purpose, but it’s very different from looking at the whole field, and getting a sense of it, without relying on the process of thinking. It’s somewhat like looking at the mountains from a distance. That has a very different value from going close to the mountain and investigating the soil there, and the type of trees there, and the geology of it, which is what the scientists do. It is all right, but you don’t know the mountain if you keep on doing that ! You also have to look at it from afar, see it in its perspective.

Our consciousness has several faculties. There are the thought-based faculties—-thinking, knowledge, memory, planning, intellect. All that belongs to the realm of thought, reason, logic. Then, the feelings, or emotions—-fear, jealousy, anger, violence. But there are also capacities which are beyond these, which are not thought-based, which can look at thought, which can observe a feeling, but they are neither thought nor feeling in themselves, they are beyond all this. Though the words might overlap one another, I’m referring to faculties of awareness, observation, attention, insight, vision, wisdom. These are all holistic in nature. They take the whole of the tree, they don’t describe bits of the tree, as thought does, so they are very different from thought. That holistic faculty also exists in human consciousness. It isn’t approachable through thought, but it can observe thought. Therefore, you can use thought and so long as you know the limitation of thought, it will not prevent this faculty from operating. But if one is not aware of the existence of such a faculty, if one thinks that the whole of existence is confined to knowledge and thoughts and ideas, then one blocks oneself, one blocks the possibility of an insight. So the religious inquiry may use thought and knowledge, but it is aiming at insight, at an expansion of vision, not an expansion of memory. Additional knowledge is expansion of memory, whereas insight expands vision —you see much farther, much more clearly, a much vaster terrain. Therefore, it is holistic in nature. It begins with observation, and it ends in observation. It begins with a question, and it ends with a question, not with an answer, not with a conclusion. Because one has seen that the conclusion prevents inquiry. And so often the conclusion has been wrong, mistaken. So one holds all conclusions like opinions tentatively, as scientists hold theories; they hold them tentatively, saying “Perhaps it is so, but we are not sure”. If we can hold all opinions, all ideas, all knowledge in that way, then the quest for truth is to go beyond this, and to have a direct perception of what is, not through the intervention of thought and of logic.

So, having said that, let me come to today’s question in this spirit. It is important to approach it rightly, because if we approach something with a narrow vision, we will get a narrow answer. Our vision limits the answer. For instance, if one has a very narrow vision of education, and one considers that education means only training a child to get a job, pass an exam and make a success in society, then all that dictates the kind of education you are going to set up, where the effort is going to lie, and the whole thing may be false because your vision is limited. On the other hand, your vision of education may be that you want the child to grow up to have a full, happy, joyous life; you don’t quite know what needs to be done for that, but you don’t want to narrow it down into just making a living. Then you are also concerned about him as a human being, about his life, and then your vision is very different and that vision will determine the kind of answers you will find for setting up education. I’m just giving that as an example, to show how important it is to have an extended vision, and not work with a very narrow vision. Otherwise, one is caught in the trap that you don’t know, and you don’t know that you don’t know ! That’s the worst trap to be in. So we don’t want to fall into that trap. And conclusions tend to bring us into that kind of a trap, if we hold to them strongly, and get attached to them. Therefore it is important not to live with answers, but always to live with questions. The question we are going to investigate, and hold in our mind in that way, while discussing with each other, is this question : what is the real significance of the statement, “You are the world”. And quite honestly I don’t know. I don’t know the real significance, but let us investigate into it together.

What is the world ? Let’s begin at that end, because it’s easier. The world around us is mankind, animals, plants, mountains, rivers, the whole of the earth, the skies, the stars, galaxies, and much else that might not be so easily visible. What do we know about the world ? Scientists tell us that the world as we see it today, the universe in which we live today, started with a big bang, which occurred something like 15 billion years ago, and since then, it’s been developing according to very definite laws of physics and chemistry. And because they have discovered those laws, through their observations in laboratories and so on, they know the kind of order that manifests in this universe, and they’ve also discovered the language that best describes that order, which is the language of mathematics. It’s a very strange thing that a kind of logic using symbols which the human mind has invented corresponds to the logic that nature follows. Because you can tell a scientist some initial conditions, that there is water there, there is this kind of a slope, this kind of air and environment, and he will use his mathematics and so on, and tell you that one month later, in that place a little trickle of water should come out. This is a very simple, mechanical thing but people like Einstein have talked about the light bending near a star, and they did it only with paper and pencil ! It took decades before they could do the experiment, and then they found “Yes, indeed, it does!” So somehow, nature follows that logic of mathematics. Otherwise, mathematics would have had very little value. It would have been like a game of chess, something interesting for the human mind to do, fascinating… and indeed, many mathematicians do mathematics just for fun, or for pleasure. Years later, it is found that it has applications in the universe, sometimes, centuries later ! What we don’t know, what the scientist can’t explain, is why nature follows this kind of order. Why are there laws at all ? And those laws are universal, they operate everywhere, in every corner of this universe, and they dictate the development of the universe. That’s why they are able to say what must have happened one second after the Big Bang what happened after one thousand years, what happened after ten thousand years, because everything is predetermined. It functions according to those laws, and they have tested those laws, time and again, refined them, and found that they work ! And they can be described in terms of mathematics. At least, on the macroscopic level, with big bodies like galaxies, and stars, and the earth, and stones, and satellites, there’s almost no uncertainty, you can predict exactly. If it’s not too complicated a system, you can predict exactly what’s going to happen. That’s how they’re able to decide with what velocity to send a rocket in order that it will go into orbit and then go near Venus and land there and so on; they know exactly the laws.

What I am trying to say is that there is a cosmic order that permeates this whole universe. And according to that cosmic order, the universe is developing. Somewhere along the line, life started too. And we don’t know, we guess, that it must also belong to this order. But we don’t know how it started. So, while we have discovered much about the nature of cosmic order, we still don’t know how life started. Therefore they are not able to create life in the laboratory, out of non-living things. The closest that they have come, as you might have read in the newspapers, is that they have discovered a molecule that replicates itself continuously if there is organic matter around it. The other thing that we don’t know is how consciousness started, and whether consciousness is a property of matter. We still don’t know how it came about, we are studying it. In the latest issue of Time magazine, there is a good popular summary of what scientists are doing by way of brain research, to understand the working of the brain, and about artificial intelligence. They are guessing what consciousness might be, and they’re also investigating whether this thing called the ‘me’, the ego, the controller, resides in some definite part of the brain. So far, their answer is it doesn’t. There’s no particular part of the brain which is the controller, where the ego resides. But they can locate other parts of the brain, which are lighted up, when certain emotions occur, and so on. It’s such a very complicated computer ! And they also approach it from the other side, and make more and more complex computers to simulate human intelligence. So the world has a certain cosmic order permeating it, and regulating all that is happening including the life forms that have come up. In the living world also there is that tremendous order. When a small seed contains one living cell, its entire behaviour pattern over a hundred years is changed. And if it doesn’t contain that living cell, then it just disintegrates, according to the laws of physics and chemistry. Otherwise, when it rains, it finds some ground, it starts moving the atoms around, and growing at the expense of its surroundings, multiplying and we get the whole big oak tree or banyan tree coming out of it, which then lives for hundreds of years, and all that order is contained within that tiny little seed, if it has that living cell in it. It’s the same elements which make up our body, which make up the tree. And the scientists tell us that these elements were cooked in the stars. That the initial elements that were present originally were only hydrogen and helium, and then, through nuclear reactions they have fused in the stars to form the higher elements. So our bodies, the trees, the atoms in the body of the dog and the animals were all once part of stars. We are star material ! And scientists are also beginning to say that a human being can be regarded as a star’s way of looking at itself !! That stars have created the human being as a consciousness, so that they can view themselves through this human being like an instrument, like we make a microscope to look at them. You can regard a human being as a star’s way of looking at itself. Actually, materially, that is the extent to which we are a part of the world.

Now to the next question is, who am I ? We have taken a bird’s eye-view of the world around us and the cosmic order in it, but who am I ? When you say “I am the world”, you have to understand the world, and you have to understand the I. So, who am I and how did I originate? The sperm and the ovum, two living entities, merged together and fertilization took place. Was that the ‘me’ that was created ? Or does the ‘me’ come up later on ? At what stage does it come in ? It goes from life to life… to life: the sperm is living, the ovum is living, the fertilized egg is living and the universal laws are operating. Then there is birth, and respiration starts, followed by a continuous development —– where does the ‘me’ enter all this ? And does it enter at all ? Or is it an illusion ? When does that illusion arise ? Do animals also have that illusion ? Do plants have that illusion ? They’re also living things like me ! Or is it my special prerogative to be self-conscious and to create a me ? Is it my imagination, or does the ‘me’ actually exist ? Does the me exist like… my hand exists, my eyes exist, the organs in my body exist ? Is there something like the ‘me,’ an ego, which exists inside there, or do I create it only in my imagination ? These are questions that we must go into during this week. We have talked about the creation of the world, but what about the creation of the me ? Where does the me get created ? Let’s begin with observation. When somebody asks me “Who are you ?”, what is my response ? I say “I’m Krishna. I’m the Rector of the Rajghat Education Centre, Krishnamurti Foundation, India. I am a professor of physics, I am an Indian, I am a Hindu”. Is that what I am ? Let’s examine it, one by one.

What is the significance of the statement “I am Krishna”? It’s just a name tagged on to me at birth, by my parents, to identify this person, this body, this entity which was born. Surely I’m not that name, so that’s easily disposed off. “I ‘m an Indian” means what ? I was born in that part of the world which, for historical reasons, has such and such boundaries now, and is called India. That’s the factual content of that statement “I ‘m Indian”. If I want to identify with those people, that culture, start calling it mine and saying “I must uphold that, they are my people, so I feel only for them, these are my ideas from my great grandfather and my gurus, therefore I stand up for them, repeat them, argue for them like a lawyer”, if I identify with all that, then it acquires a much greater significance, and I become a nationalist——which is all a psychological build-up. I create attachment to that place, that nation, those people, that culture, therefore I begin to belong, therefore that affects my entire thinking and psyche, and I become nationalistic, I prefer those people to other people, I prefer that country, and so on. And in the education process, they regard this as very virtuous, and they din it into us. That’s how we get into this feeling of “I’m an Indian”. But really, devoid of all that propaganda, all that falsehood which we must set aside, because we are into religious inquiry, what’s the factual content of that statement ? Just that I was born in that part of the world !

What does it mean to say “I am a Hindu”? The people where I was born, the particular family, worshipped in a particular way, held certain beliefs, which have been handed down to me as knowledge, so I repeat them. And because I follow that particular pattern and I feel attached to it, therefore I say “I’m a Hindu”. But if I don’t attach myself, if I say “I’m in quest of truth, I’m not interested in the opinions of either the West or the East, or the Hindus or Islamic people, I’m not interested in any opinions whatsoever, I want to find out the truth”, then what significance does it have whether I am a Hindu or a Christian ? And that may be the truly religious state when you are not caught in any orthodox religion, and you are enquiring into what is true, that may be the truly religious mind.

“I’m a professor of physics”. Surely that’s part of my training, I learnt that subject. I was trained through school and university for twenty years, to do certain theorems and sums, and everything else that goes under the name of physics. So my brain functions efficiently in that area, it has a certain capacity. That’s all that it means. So does the gardener, so does the plumber, so does everybody else. They have learnt something which they know how to do. What’s so special about it? If you don’t give tremendous importance to being this, that or the other, it’s just like saying. “That’s my hand, I have a little hair on it, and it’s brownish in colour”. That’s all that it means. But if you have a racist mind, it begins to mean very much more. So our mind creates a lot of illusions around a fact. But a religious mind is only interested in facts ! So I’m not all that, that’s all simply a creation of my own mind, my own choices, my own stupidities, my own inheritance if you like, and I’m not interested in inheritance, I’m interested in the truth, and I don’t know what the truth is… so what’s the tremendous value of attaching myself to any of this ?

“I’m the Rector of the Rajghat Education Centre”. What does that mean ? It’s just a responsibility, isn’t it? I have a certain function. I have been given a certain power, in order to perform that function. I must use my intelligence, my capacities, to find out what is right for the Rajghat Education Centre, and use my power to do that. I must doubt what I think, consult others, find out what is right, make mistakes, learn from it, and so on. That’s all that it means. It’s just a description of a task I’ve taken upon myself, a responsibility I have agreed to discharge surely that’s not me ! If I use that position for my own purposes we regard it as corruption. If a man uses that to make money for himself, to build up a status for himself, and so on, we regard him as a corrupt human being. He’s misusing his power towards an end for which it is not meant, namely to build himself up. The fact is that I’m in charge of that place, I am its custodian, I’m looking after it. That’s all that it means. It doesn’t mean I am against any other school. It doesn’t mean that. Why does it mean that with religion ? Why is a Hindu against a Muslim or the Muslim against the Jew ?

Let’s come still closer. “I’m the head of a family”. What does that mean ? My son, my wife, do they belong to me, do I possess my family ? Which means what ? Are they meant for my purpose, my use, can I treat them any way I like to fulfill my desires, my wishes ? Is that the relationship ? Or, I have to care, I’m a friend, I share with them. Can we be friends, help each other, but not possess each other, not use each other ? It is subtle. If you possess, there is domination, there is usage, there is exploitation, and you become like a king. That’s what kings did: they thought the whole of the state belonged to them. And when they doled out some money, it was as if they were giving their personal money ! It belonged to the state, it was not their money, but they became the owners. So we also can become little Hitler’s and little kings in our own families, in our own institutions, if we do not understand right relationship.

Next, I ask “Am I this body?” We assume that this body is ours. We own it, we drive it, we use it, we exploit it to fulfill our desires, our aims, our ambitions. That may be just my attitude. I treat the body like that, but I have never inquired about it. I have never found out what is the right relationship to this body, without calling it my body, because it’s part of that order in the universe. It came into being like that tree came into being and like everybody else came into being. Like them this body was also born, and it developed. How did it become mine ? And what does it mean, mine ? When it is my school, I say. I’m in charge of it, I must work for the school, I must do what is right”. Why don’t I say that when it is my body ? Isn’t that also exploitation ? Isn’t that also domination ? Is it not a wrong relationship ? Because we have never inquired whether it might not just be a responsibility to care for this body, to develop the right relationship with it, but never to consider oneself the owner of that body. You know, there is something vulgar about ownership. Have you seen children, how they tend to misuse the things they own? So do we grown-ups. Adults are but grown up children ! When you own a notebook, you can tear it, throw it away, make it dirty, and when another person complains. “Why are you doing this?”, you can say “It’s none of your business, it’s my notebook”. That means I can be disrespectful to it, I can destroy it, I can do whatever I like with it because I’m the owner of it. I don’t have to care for it. A kind of destructive attitude comes out of possession, out of ownership, and I’m questioning whether we are really the owners of our body? Or is it something we have assumed without asking this question? We treat ourselves as owners, like we treat our cars ! When our car is out of order, we take it to the mechanic to get it fixed: it’s his job to fix it. When the body gets out of order, we go to the hospital, it’s the doctor’s job to fix it. Then we come back, and we live exactly the same way as we lived before, which means we do not take responsibility for looking after our body. We want the body to be used for our purpose, and when it gives trouble, we want somebody else to fix it. We have developed systems in society to enable that, so that we can continue in the wrong lifestyle and somebody else makes a living by repairing it. The same goes for the mind, or the brain. There are a whole lot of psychiatrists and psychologists, who are working there to fix it. When I have neurosis, when I have fear, when I have something else, somebody must fix it. When things are not all right, I don’t take responsibility for it. Am I the owner of this mind, this brain ? Or is this brain part of that development process in Nature and it’s my responsibility to keep it clean, not to corrupt it, not to misuse it? We have assumed so many things, and a religious mind must question every assumption.

After all, when we live as a guest in somebody’s house, we care for it, we look after that room, we keep it tidy, leave it clean when we go, we do everything. Why don’t we do it in our own house? When it’s my own house, why is it I can do whatever I like, I can keep it dirty unless a guest is coming? As soon as there is a sense of ownership, care goes down, because it is something meant for my purpose. But I am questioning whether we are really owners of anything at all ! I become whatever I identify with, and because I identify with it. After all, what is my brain? It’s a tiny little computer, which has been programmed by the family in which I was born, the society in which I grew up, the particular culture, ideals, and all that. That small little entity who was born here, brought up there, educated some place, has a certain programming of the brain, and that’s the computer that sits there in my skull. I start calling it my computer, my brain, and identify with it—-this is me, Hindu, Indian, and so on ! Consider for a moment that a friend of yours made you a gift of a nice computer that had been programmed in, say, Uganda. You would have this Uganda computer, which can perform certain tasks, it would be a nice toy, but you wouldn’t identify with it, you wouldn’t say “This is me !” You would use it when it was useful, you might be the owner of it, but you wouldn’t identify with it. Why do I identify with this computer which is my brain? Why do I regard it as something very special —– my brain, my mind, my opinion, my thought, my idea, my religion. What’s the content of the word my? From where does it come? I didn’t ask for this brain it’s there! Like the furniture in my house, it’s sitting there. I can use it, like I use my furniture. But why do I get attached to it, why does that particular computer become so special? It dominates my life, it dictates my life. Because this is what I call my thoughts, and my thoughts somehow become more important than everybody else’s thoughts and I want them to dominate. Why should my thoughts dominate ? We fight because your computer was programmed in America, and mine was programmed in India. So, because I identify with this computer and you identify with that computer, we say “I am separate from you”. We don’t feel that way when Alan has a computer he owns, and I have another computer I own in my house. I don’t feel separate from Alan because we own two different computers ! But if you identify with that computer, it creates division, and division is irreligious.

So, I am questioning the assumption that we have taken for granted: that “I am this body, and I am this mind”. Can it be that I am none of these things? It is only an attachment, an identification which I determine, I choose. So there may be no such thing as my brain, there may only be the brain of mankind. But the particular brain, the particular computer I identify with, I call it my brain, and then the me develops the importance. If we don’t divide, then aren’t we part of the world, part of that whole mysterious process which we are trying to understand, the entire universe of which life is a part, of which human beings are a part, of which I am a part ? And consciousness has been given to enable me to look at it, examine it, question it, understand it. But I become possessive: I say “This is my country, this is my house, this is my family, this is my brain, this is my body” and I create the me. And the me is then divided from the rest of the world out there, to exploit others, mountains, rivers, skies, everything. Therefore I don’t approach other things in this universe like a friend. Because I divide, I separate myself and I want to exploit everything for the benefit of this me, this me being what I have identified with. All that may be my own creation. The animal doesn’t do it. It may be genetically programmed, to a certain extent, to feel for its territory and shout, and so on. We may also be genetically programmed to some extent, since we have evolved from the animals. But we complicate it, we take it much farther, through our thought process, through our imagination. And so the me may be simply something built up in imagination, it just doesn’t exist in actuality. We create it, we separate it out. And therefore I feel separate from the world. But if I don’t do that, the fact is that I may be just part of the world —- I am the world. Because that same intelligence which is operating out there in the universe, which has created life, which has created this development, is operating within me. But if I separate it out and say “It’s my intelligence”, then I begin to feel that my intelligence is something superior, more important than the universal intelligence. Then I am not studying and trying to understand the universal intelligence, I am trying to build with my own intelligence. So I begin to think I must have this kind of house, this kind of society, people must be this way, the school must run this way, and so on. I cease to be a student, an observer, and I begin to dictate, I become a dictator. The moment I create the me, I turn into a dictator, I am no longer simply an observer.

So, I have raised a lot of questions and we must go into them during this week in our dialogues with each other, in our private talks and in our walks together. I feel these are tremendously important, fundamental questions. Maybe impossible questions —- it doesn’t matter. The religious mind is the one that asks impossible questions. It’s the businessman and the politician who say. “I will do only what is possible, I won’t ask questions about the impossible.” To a religious mind nothing is impossible, because it’s not wanting something out of it, it doesn’t matter whether it succeeds or fails. So I’m asking these questions and I may never find the answer, but still I ask because I am interested in learning in finding out. That’s the religious approach to truth: you do it for its own sake. We may never find out. Krishnamurti used to say. “Sir, live with questions. And there may be questions that one has to live with all one’s life.” For generations, none may find the answer, the human mind might never come upon the answer. You have to hold that question. That’s what it means to have a religious mind, to live with religious inquiry, not with conclusions and answers.

So, if you look at this whole content of the world, and of the structure of the ‘me’, then is the me separate from the world, or is that an illusion? The fact is that we are the world —– I am the world The fact is that there is only one intelligence that is operating throughout the universe, it is not mine or yours. There is just a human brain, not my brain or your brain. There is thought, but there is no such thing as my thought and your thought. Where does the ownership come in, that’s the question. And why does it come in? Another time, I would like to take up a question, perhaps in discussions, whether in actual fact we are really separate from each other, and the idea that the other man is yourself is a very noble idea which has to be achieved ? The theosophists have spoken of “universal brotherhood.” Are we really brothers, or are we really separate individuals, divided from each other, who should feel like brothers? Are we positing that as an ideal, which is fiction, and the division is the reality? Or is it the other way round, that the actuality is that we are brothers, and the division is an illusion? This is the same as asking whether I am the world, or am I divided from the world, operating as a separate entity in this world ? All this is linked up with the question whether there is such a thing as an individual and what is individuality? What does it mean to be an individual? I think I will end it here and we can take up questions now.

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